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Cross-Frontier Accreditation

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Accreditation is the formal attestation of the independence and technical competence of a conformity assessment body. Accreditations are a central instrument for building trust in international trade and a constitutive part of the global quality infrastructure. Generally, the accreditation bodies operate in their own country. However, there are significant exceptions to the principle of "one economy, one accreditation body", which is the theme of this study. In this study, the authors deal with the empirical significance of cross-border accreditation. The analysis of the data shows different patterns in cross-border accreditation. To this end, the authors collected data on accreditation from the websites of 201 accreditation bodies in 184 economies. In doing so, the authors distinguished the types of accreditation to determine whether the services for a conformity assessment body were provided domestically or abroad. The study results provide an empirical basis for an expert debate on the benefits and limitations of cross-border accreditation. Thus, the study contributes to the GQII programme for data transparency within the global quality infrastructure.
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CROSS-FRONTIER
ACCREDITATION
GQII DATA & ANALYTICS PAPER NO. 2
JUNE 2021
BY
ULRICH HARMES-LIEDTKE
ANDRÉS MATTA
GQII DATA & ANALYTICS PAPER, NO. 2
GQII DATA & ANALYTICS PAPER, NO.21
TITLE: Cross-frontier accreditation
AUTHORS: Dr Ulrich Harmes-Liedtke and Andrés Matta
PLACE: Bad Homburg/Germany and Cordoba/Argentina June 2021
CONTACT: uhl@mesopartner.com
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For more information, go to https://gqii.org
DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.21278.46402
ISSN 2748-4866
1 GQII Website https://gqii.org
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION 7
DEFINITION AND AREAS OF APPLICATION 7
INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL RECOGNITION 7
NATIONAL ACCREDITATION BODIES AND CROSS-FRONTIER ACCREDITATION
- One economy, one accreditation body 8
- Economies with more than one accreditation body 8
- Binational and regional accreditation bodies 8
- Economies without their own accreditation body 8
- Cross-frontier accreditation 9
METHODOLOGY 9
GUIDELINES 11
INTERNATIONAL POLICIES AND GUIDELINES
- Overview 11
- ILAC coordination principles of cross-frontier accreditation 12
- IAF assessment for cross-frontier accreditation activities 13
- Cross-frontier accreditation within Europe 14
NETWORK ANALYSIS OF CROSS-FRONTIER ACCREDITATION 15
DATA BASE AND COLLECTION 16
ANALYSIS OF THE GLOBAL STRUCTURE: CENTRALITY 16
ANALYSIS OF THE GLOBAL STRUCTURE: BLOCS AND GROUPINGS 18
TYPOLOGY OF ECONOMIES REGARDING THEIR CROSS-FRONTIER ACCREDITATION
- General typology of cross-frontier accreditation economies 22
- Typology of accreditation service exporters 23
CONCLUSIONS 24
THE WAY FORWARD 27
BIBLIOGRAPHY 28
AB Accreditation Body
AFRAC African Accreditation Cooperation
ANOVA Analysis of variance
APAC Asia-Pacic Accreditation Cooperation Incorporated
APLAC Asia-Pacic Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation
ARAC Arab Accreditation Cooperation
CAB Conformity Assessment Body
CB Certication Body
CFA Cross-Frontier Accreditation
CL Calibration Laboratory
EA European Co-operation for Accreditation
IAAC Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation
IAF International Accreditation Forum
IEC International Electrotechnical Commission
ILAC International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation
ISO International Organization for Standardisation
ML Medical Laboratory
MLA Multi-Lateral Recognition Arrangement (the term used
by the IAF)
MRA Mutual Recognition Arrangement (the term used by
ILAC)
NAFP National Accreditation Focal Points
NAB National Accreditation Body
PAC Pacic Accreditation Cooperation
RAC Regional Accreditation Cooperation
s/a Economies not associated with any RAC
SADCA Southern African Development Cooperation in
Accreditation
SADCAS Southern African Development Community
Accreditation Services
SNA Social Network Analysis
WTO World Trade Organisation
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1: Links of cross-frontier accreditation 16
Figure 2: Grouping of economies by executing the “modularity” algorithm 19
Figure 3: Grouping of countries based on relational contingency analysis 20
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Accreditation arrangements and levels 10
Table 2: Accreditation export by country 16
Table 3: Accreditation import by country 18
Table 4: Density of accreditation trade between groups in % 20
Table 5: Difference between the observed valued and expected random values 21
Table 6: Densities of membership of the RAC by continental membership in % 22
Table 7: Typology of economies by cross-frontier accreditation patterns 23
LIST OF ANNEXES
Annexure 1: Denitions 29
Annexure 2: Country Codes 31
Annexure 3: Relationship patterns of countries regarding accreditation services exports 33
Annexure 4: Relationship patterns of countries regarding accreditation services imports 34
Annexure 5: Case history: Colombia 36
LIST OF ACRONYMS
INTRODUCTION
Accreditation is the central mechanism of cross-frontier
recognition of conformity assessment services. The
slogan is “accredited once, accepted everywhere”.3
The recognition of technical competence and impartiality
of NABs is regulated within the international and regional
accreditation cooperations. For this purpose, the NABs
sign the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) of ILAC
and the Multilateral Recognition Agreement (MLA) of IAF.
In this way, the signatories undertake to recognise the
accreditations of CABs and their conformity assessment
results across frontiers.
Multilateral arrangements strengthen the condence
of companies, regulatory authorities and stakeholders
in test and inspection reports, certicates of CABs and
calibrations laboratories. In consequence, MRAs and
1
DEFINITION AND AREAS OF APPLICATION
In the context of international trade, accreditation is the formal attestation or statement by an independent third party
(the accreditation body, AB) that a conformity assessment body (CAB) or calibration laboratory (CL) is competent to
carry out a specic conformity assessment or calibration services1. The statement is based on the positive outcome
of a review determining whether the CAB or CL fulls the relevant criteria for its accreditation. Formally, accreditation
is based on international standards of the International Standards Organization and International Electrotechnical
Commission (ISO/IEC17000:2020 series conformity assessment).2
Accreditation originated after World War II in laboratory services, coordinated through the International Laboratory
Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC). The accreditation of certication bodies (CB) came much later and is organised
within the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). ILAC and IAF are currently in the process of merging, and regional
accreditation cooperations (RACs) APLAC, ARAC, AFRAC, IAAC, EA, PAC and SADCA are assigned to them. Essential
for the spread of accreditation are the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) related regulations in the Agreement on
Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS). Besides, private
certication systems such as GLOBAL G.A.P., FAMI-QS and the Food Safety System Certication (FSSC) or the Carbon
Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) also use the accreditation systems of ILAC and
IAF to recognise certication bodies (see Table 1).
INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL RECOGNITION
MLAs promote the global movement of goods and
services.
The list of signatories to the ILAC MRA can be found
on the ILAC website.4 It is important to note that the
technical competence of an AB is only recognised for
specic accreditation scopes. Therefore it is important to
check with an AB which international recognition scopes
are covered by the MLA or MRA.
For accreditation bodies which do not full the
requirements of IAF or ILAC, there is often the possibility
of an MLA within an RAC or a bilateral agreement. If an
AB signs a mutual recognition agreement at the RAC
level, these accreditation services are recognised across
the specic world region, but without automatically being
accepted by all ILAC/IAF MRA members.
1 The authors would like to thank Manfred Kindler for his comments on an earlier version of this paper.
2 https://www.iso.org/obp/ui/#iso:std:iso-iec:17000:ed-2:v2:en
3 See e.g. https://ilac.org/ilac-mra-and-signatories/benets/ and https://european-accreditation.org/mutual-recognition/iaf-ilac-recognition/
4 https://ilac.org/ilac-mra-and-signatories/ (Retrieved 04/04/21).
GQII REPORT | 7
One economy, one accreditation body
The accreditation of CABs is mainly organised nationally. The principle of “one economy, one accreditation body”
applies generally, but there are exceptions:
1. Economies with more than one accreditation body
Some economies, e.g. the United States, India, Japan and South Korea, have several accreditation bodies in the
country. In the United States, several ABs are competing in different accreditation areas. Meanwhile, in other economies
there is a division of labour, with some ABs specialising in laboratory accreditation and others in accreditation of CBs.
In the European Union, the principle of one AB by country now applies to all member states.
2. Binational and regional accreditation bodies
Other exceptions are binational and regional ABs. The Joint Accreditation System for Australia and New Zealand (JAS-
ANZ) is responsible for the Accreditation of CBs in both countries.
Another example is the Southern African Development Community Accreditation Services (SADCAS), a multi-
economy accreditation body. SADCAS services the accreditation needs of fourteen (14) Southern African Development
Community (SADC) member states, namely Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The
headquarters of SADCAS are in Gaborone in Botswana.
3. Economies without their own accreditation body
Not all countries or economies have an accreditation body. In smaller and less developed countries, the critical
demand necessary for the establishment of an NAB is often lacking. Some of these economies have established
National Accreditation Focal Points (NAFPs). NAFPs are competent bodies in countries without their own accreditation
bodies, which act as information intermediaries between the local users and suppliers of conformity assessment and
the ABs abroad. NAFPs have become a widespread tool in regional cooperation communities to establish national
accreditation systems or to coordinate accreditation activities with internationally recognised accreditation bodies in a
structured manner.5 However, an NAFP is not a formal part of international accreditation cooperation.
NATIONAL ACCREDITATION BODIES AND CROSS-FRONTIER ACCREDITATION
8 | GQII REPORT
5 https://www.ptb.de/cms/leadmin/internet/fachabteilungen/abteilung_9/9.3_internationale_zusammenarbeit/publikationen/PTB_Info_NAFP_EN_02.pdf
(Retrieved 22/03/2021).
6 See also the explanations in Chapter 2.
7 Accreditation bodies are admitted to the IAF MLA and the ILAC MRA only after a most stringent evaluation of their operations by a peer evaluation team which is charged
to ensure that the applicant member complies fully with both the international standards and IAF or ILAC requirements.
8 Like IAF and ILAC, we use the term economy instead of country, which thereby establishes the fact that the sample comprises different territorial units which are not
independent countries. These include Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, which are counted in with the People’s Republic of China, and also Palestine and Kosovo.
Cross-frontier accreditation
The rule is that accreditation services are provided in
the same country or economies. However, there are
several exceptions that require an AB to provide its
services abroad. This is called cross-frontier accreditation.
Economically speaking, this is a case of trade (export or
import depending on the perspective) in services.
The international accreditation community is concerned
with preventing competition between national
accreditation bodies or limiting it to well-dened
facts.6 There are legitimate reasons for cross-frontier
accreditation:
- if an economy does not have its own accreditation body
- if the domestic accreditation body does not offer
accreditation for the required scope
- if the economy’s accreditation body has not received a
positive result in a peer evaluation7
- if the CAB clients require accreditation by a specic
accreditation body and will not be persuaded to accept
the domestic equivalent
- by request of CAB headquarters
- if certication bodies are internationally organised, e.g.
SGS, TÜV and other global players, recognition can be
transferred to other countries.
METHODOLOGY
In this study, the authors deal with the empirical signicance of cross-frontier accreditation. For this purpose, the
authors collected data on accreditation from the websites of 201 accreditation bodies in 184 economies.8 In doing so,
the authors distinguished between the types of accreditation on level 5 (see Table 1) to determine whether the services
were provided for a conformity assessment body at home or abroad.
Especially for developing countries that do not (yet)
have their own NAB, cross-frontier accreditation offers
the possibility to develop the technical competence
and independence of local CABs (especially testing and
calibration laboratories, and certication and inspection
bodies) recognised internationally. Importing these
services makes it easier for these countries to participate
in global trade.
Additionally, cross-frontier accreditation (CFA) is an
excellent training module for the development of further
accreditation services (Joint Assessments and Joint
Accreditations).
Countries with their own NAB can also benet from
cross-frontier accreditation (CFA). This applies if the NAB
only has international recognition of limited scopes. In
the remaining areas, the services that are absent can be
offered to the local users and providers of conformity
assessment. This is a challenge, however, when the NAB
expands its competences. In this case, the coordination
of all stakeholders is needed to support the transfer of
accreditation services to the NAB.
GQII REPORT | 9
LEVEL 2 LEVEL 3 LEVEL 4 LEVEL 5
IAF MLA
Product Certication ISO/IEC 17065:2012 GLOBALG.A.P IFA
General Regulations V4
GLOBALG.A.P IFA Control
Points and Compliance
Criteria V4
Management System
Certication ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015
ISO/TS 22003:2013 ISO 22000:2018, 2005 (FSMS)
ISO/TS 22003:2013 FAMI-QS
Rules for Certication Bodies
Version 8
FAMI-QS Certication
Scheme Code Version 6
ISO/IEC 17021-3:2017 ISO 9001:2015 (QMS)
ISO/IEC 17021-2:2016 ISO 14001:2015 (EMS)
ISO/IEC 27006:2015 ISO/IEC 27001:2013 (ISMS)
ISO 5003:2014 ISO 50001:2018, 2011 (EnMS)
ISO 13485:2016 (MDMS)
ISO/IEC TS 17021-10:2018 ISO 45001:2018 (previous
OHSAS 18001)
ISO/TS 2003:2013 FSSC
Scheme Part 3 – Requirements
for the Certication Process
FSSC Scheme Part 4 –
Requirements for Certication
Bodies
FSSC Scheme Part 2 –
Requirements for
organizations to be audited
Person Certication ISO/IEC 17024:2012 IPC PL-11-006
Validation and Verication
ISO 14065:2013
ICAO CORSIA ETM – Volume
IV V1, ISP 14064-3:2006; ISO
14066:2011
ICAO CORSIA SARPs – Annex
16 Volume IV VI
ISO/IEC 17029:2019
ILAC MRA
Testing
ISO/IEC 17025
Scope of accreditation
WADA ISL
ISO 15189 ISO 22870
Calibration ISO/IEC 17025 ISO 15195
Inspection ISO/IEC 17020
Prociency Testing ISO/IEC 17043
Reference Material Production ISO 17034
The authors evaluated and systematised the international trade relations of accreditation services between the
economies using the Social Network Analysis (SNA).
SNA is a eld of data analytics that uses networks and graph theory to understand social structures. It helps to
understand growing interdependencies of social relations on a theoretically and methodologically sound foundation
(Prell, 2012). The authors expect valuable insights from the application of network analysis, especially for accreditation
and quality infrastructure, where the systematic use of statistical data to observe the development of the system itself
is only in its infancy.
This study shows for the rst time the patterns of cross-frontier accreditation. The authors hope that these ndings will
provide the international accreditation community with new information to guide the collaboration in accreditation
across borders.
Reference: Authors’ elaboration based on IAF MLA status 23/02/2011 and ILAC-R6:05/2019
GUIDELINES
2
GQII REPORT | 11
In 2001 the ILAC Arrangement Committee prepared the rst document on cooperation principles for cross-frontier
accreditation. The current version of the document, G21:09 drawn up in 2012, is under revision.9 The document serves
to strengthen the international network of accreditation bodies through the ILAC arrangement, and mentions the
following purposes:
(1) The ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (the Arrangement) is designed to ensure that endorsed test reports
and calibration certicates issued by laboratories and endorsed inspection reports issued by inspection bodies
accredited by ILAC Full Members (i.e. signatories to the ILAC Arrangement) under their dened scopes of
accreditation can be accepted worldwide.
(2) ILAC’s objective is to offer the benets of the Arrangement to the market so that duplicate accreditation will not
be necessary.
(3) For this to be achieved, each accreditation body signatory to the Arrangement must provide an equivalent
accreditation service. This equivalence is ensured by a peer evaluation process managed under the Arrangement.
(4) The principles set out in this document serve to strengthen the international network of accreditation bodies
through the Arrangement. These accreditation bodies accredit laboratories and inspection bodies, which carry
out conformity assessment activities in different economies. The principles seek to assist the objective of
facilitating international trade by removing technical barriers to trade.
The document gives examples of when a laboratory or inspection body might apply for accreditation from a body
outside its own country (economy):
a) There is no domestic accreditation body.
b) The domestic accreditation body does not offer accreditation for the required scope.
c) The domestic accreditation body is not a signatory to the ILAC Arrangement.
d) The laboratory’s or inspection body’s clients require accreditation by a specic accreditation body and will not be
persuaded to accept the domestic equivalent.
e) The laboratories or inspection bodies are part of a group that wants all their laboratories or inspection bodies to
be accredited by the same accreditation body.
Where one or more domestic accreditation bodies that are ILAC MRA signatories for the requested scope
of accreditation are present in the country (economy) of the applicant, and the applicant still elects to apply for
accreditation from the foreign accreditation body, the foreign accreditation body should, in accordance with the
requirement of having a program to promote the ILAC Arrangement with major stakeholders, take the following steps
INTERNATIONAL POLICIES AND GUIDELINES
9 https://ilac.org/publications-and-resources/ilac-guidance-series/
Overview
The standards of the ISO/IEC 17000 series provide regulations concerning the assessment of CABs by an AB, which
carry out certications and tests or inspection reports in countries outside the country where their head ofce is
located. These regulations are specied in the multilateral agreements and guidelines of IAF and ILAC. While not
banning ABs from offering accreditation to CABs from outside its borders, the accreditation body is fully expected
to promote the multilateral agreements of both ILAC and IAF, and to inform interested parties that accreditation
should be sought from the local accreditation body, subject to their being signatories to the appropriate ILAC or
IAF multilateral agreements. Regional accreditation cooperations (AFRAC, APAC, EA and IAAC) as well as national
accreditation bodies take over these agreements and dene them according to their own rules.
ILAC coordination principles of cross-frontier accreditation
12 | GQII REPORT
before accepting the application:
(1) Enquire whether the applicant is aware of the domestic accreditation body.
(2) Suggest that accreditation provided by a domestic accreditation body would better take account of local
factors and conditions, where relevant.
(3) Point out the equivalence of the domestic accreditation body’s accreditations as demonstrated through the
ILAC Arrangement.
(4) Point out that, according to the cross-frontier accreditation principles of ILAC, even if the application is
accepted the local accreditation body may be involved in the accreditation process.
The foreign accreditation body should proceed with the application only if the applicant persists in requiring
accreditation by the foreign accreditation body; and it shall seek acceptance from the applicant before consulting with
the domestic accreditation body.
When an accreditation body that is a signatory to the ILAC Arrangement decides to provide accreditation services
outside its own country (economy), it should ensure that appropriate assessors are used, considering factors such as
language, local laws and regulations, culture, etc., as well as technical competence requirements. It is recommended
that key representatives of the local government (ministries or authorities) be involved to ensure national recognition
and licensing later on. The foreign accreditation body should consult the domestic accreditation body and take into
consideration any relevant accreditation requirements that the domestic accreditation body has set to suit local
conditions.
The preferred ILAC approach to ensure access to relevant competence is to cooperate to the greatest practical
extent with the domestic accreditation body by using its personnel, as appropriate, on the assessment team. If it is
not possible to include personnel from the domestic accreditation body on the assessment team, cooperation with
the domestic accreditation body should be extended by inviting the domestic accreditation body to observe the
assessment, subject to acceptance by the applicant.
Where the domestic accreditation body is not a signatory to the ILAC Arrangement, or where the scope of the domestic
accreditation body does not cover the requested activity, the foreign accreditation body should try to cooperate
with the domestic accreditation body according to these principles to provide the domestic accreditation body with
the opportunity to gain experience to apply for the ILAC Arrangement. The principles for cooperation among ILAC
member bodies also apply to reassessment and surveillance activities performed by an accreditation body outside its
own country (economy).10
In all cases, the objective of an eventual change, with the accreditation moving to the relevant domestic accreditation
body, should be borne in mind when the domestic accreditation body becomes a signatory to the ILAC Arrangement
for the relevant scope, or when the applicant laboratory or inspection body so chooses.
IAF assessment for cross-frontier accreditation activities
The IAF Document for Assessment of Certication Activities for Cross-Frontier Accreditation is mandatory for IAF
MLA signatories.11 The AB shall have an assessment program covering the current accreditation period that enables
it to conrm the CAB’s conformity with the requirements of the relevant conformity assessment standard(s) within
the CAB’s scope of accreditation, irrespective of where certication activities are performed. The AB’s assessment
program shall be developed to identify key activities to be assessed and the countries where these are performed or
managed and shall be reviewed annually.
10 This tool is also known as Joint Assessment and Joint Accreditation and was already introduced in the 1990s by Manfred Kindler as part of his 30 Milestones programme in
an EU project in Eastern Europe.
11 AF 2013, MD 12, https://www.iaf.nu/upFiles/IAF_MD_12_Assessment_of_Certication_Activities_for_Cross_Frontier_Accreditation__Final.pdf
GQII REPORT | 13
12 EA Publication EA-2/13 https://european-accreditation.org/publication/ea-2-13-m-rev01-october-2012 (Retrieved 04/04/2021).
Within the European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA), the rules on cross-frontier
accreditation are tightly governed by the European Accreditation Regulation: Reg
(EC) No. 765/2008. This concept is an excellent demonstration of the combination of
mandatory and voluntary accreditation schemes.
The European regulation provides for a comprehensive horizontal legal framework for
the operation and organisation of accreditation in the European Economic Area (EEA)
6 applicable as from 1 January 2010. The regulation formalises a set of requirements
for accreditation bodies in line with the relevant ISO/IEC international standards. Some
of the EC regulations go beyond the requirements set out in the ISO/IEC standards,
namely:
- Accreditation is carried out by one single national accreditation body appointed by its
Member State (Article 4.1)
- Accreditation is performed as a public authority activity (Article 4.5)
- National accreditation bodies operate free from commercial motivations (Article 8.1)
and on a not-for-prot basis (Article 4.7)
- National accreditation bodies do not compete with conformity assessment bodies
and among each other (Articles 6.1 anD 6.2)
Cross-frontier accreditation is carried out only under certain limited circumstances (Article
7): European conformity assessment bodies are required to request the accreditation by
the national accreditation body of the member state in which they are established.
This general rule allows limited exceptions when a CAB requests accreditation with a
NAB in another member state where:
- there is no NAB in its member state (Article 7.1(a))
- the NAB does not offer the requested accreditation service (Article 7.1(b))
- the NAB has not received a positive outcome in the peer evaluation concerning the
conformity assessment activity for which accreditation is requested (Article 7.1(c)).
Article 7.1 of the Regulation is closely linked to, and is a logical consequence of, the
non-competition principle embodied in Article 6 of the same Regulation. It is crucial
to prevent conformity assessment bodies from shopping around for accreditation
certicates, thus creating a “market for accreditation”, leading to the commercialisation
of accreditation, which jeopardises the added value of accreditation and its role as a
public authority activity and last level of control of the conformity assessment chain.
Although Reg (EC) No. 765/2008 is very stringent about restricting cross-frontier
accreditation within Europe, it does allow exceptions:
(1) Where the member state does not have its own accreditation body. The accreditation
body is not a signatory to the relevant EA Multilateral Agreement (MLA), or where the
regional accreditation body cannot provide the CAB with the accreditation service that
it is seeking.
(2) Where an overseas CAB is part of a corporate group whose head ofce is situated
in a different member state. In this instance the local accreditation body of the head
ofce can provide a single accreditation to cover all sites if they meet the well-dened
requirements.12
CROSS-FRONTIER ACCREDITATION WITHIN EUROPE
14 | GQII REPORT
NETWORK ANALYSIS
OF CROSS-FRONTIER
ACCREDITATION
3
GQII REPORT | 15
To better understand the practice of cross-frontier
accreditation, the authors collected and analysed data
from 201 freely accessible AB websites worldwide.13 These
are signatories of mutual arrangements of IAF, ILAC and
RAC as well as ABs that do not (yet) have an internationally
recognised AB. The counting is of certicates (not sites)
for the accreditation scopes at level 5 (see Table 1).
For this study, the authors used the Alpha-3 codes as
described in the ISO 3166 international standard to
designate the countries/economies.14 In countries with
more than one AB, they aggregated the data at the
country or economy level.
The cross-frontier accreditation network analysis at
the global level recorded the accreditation service
data from May to September 2020, which included 146
economies with 2,878 accreditation services provided
between them.15 All these accreditations generated 339
international links, representing a density of 1.6% of all
possible relationships.16
To analyse the data of the cross-frontier accreditation,
the authors chose social network analysis (SNA). This
is a method of empirical social research for recording
and analysing social relationships and social networks.
SNA propagates a particular view of social phenomena
that emphasises their relational character. Connections
and interdependencies between entities (in our case
accreditation bodies and conformity assessment bodies
or economies) are the unit of analysis (Prell, 2012). For
the computations and visualisation of the networks, the
authors used the UCINET program (Borgatti, 2002).
Figure 1 shows how these links are structured, making it
possible to identify this as a strongly centralised network
in terms of service provision, although with a diversied
scope. Using Freeman’s measure of centrality (Freeman,
1978),17 the analysis indicates that the export network is
67% centralised globally while at the import level, this
value is 6.73%.
20 TÜV Rheinland/ Techvision, https://www.tuv.com/landingpage/de/countdown-to-the-future/
13 For more information on the data base, see https://gqii.org.
14 https://www.iso.org/iso-3166-country-codes.html and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1_alpha-3.
15 According to GQII data, the AB had attested 108,208 accreditations worldwide (Harmes-Liedtke & Oteiza, 2021). This means that cross-frontier accreditations account for
2.7% of the total number of accreditations.
16 The density of a network is calculated as the sum of tie values divided by the number of possible ties. In our case, the calculation is 336 links/ ((146 countries)2 - 146
countries) = 1,6%.
17 This measure expresses the degree of inequality or variance of the network in relation to a fully centralised theoretical network (in the shape of a star). Measures of degree
cannot be directly compared when networks differ in size. Realising this, Freeman (1979) developed a normalised centrality measure, which converts the degree, in-degree
and out-degree centrality scores into proportions. Through this technique Freeman enabled analysts to compare the centrality of actors from one network to the next (Prell,
2012:100).
According to GQII data, the AB had attested 108,208 accreditations worldwide (Harmes-Liedtke & Oteiza,
15
2021). This means that cross-frontier accreditations account for 2.7% of the total number of accreditations.
The density of a network is calculated as the sum of tie values divided by the number of possible ties. In our
16
case, the calculation is 336 links/ ((146 countries)2 - 146 countries) = 1,6%.
This measure expresses the degree of inequality or variance of the network in relation to a fully centralised
17
theoretical network (in the shape of a star). Measures of degree cannot be directly compared when networks
differ in size. Realising this, Freeman (1979) developed a normalised centrality measure, which converts the
degree, in-degree and out-degree centrality scores into proportions. Through this technique Freeman enabled
analysts to compare the centrality of actors from one network to the next (Prell, 2012:100).
18
Figure 1: Links of cross-frontier accreditation
Reference: Author’s elaboration. The results of the execution of the “modularity” algorithm (Blondel, Guillaume, Lambiotte and Lefebvre, 2008) are represented by different colours.
DATA BASE AND COLLECTION
ANALYSIS OF THE GLOBAL STRUCTURE: CENTRALITY
16 | GQII REPORT
18 Note that only 32 economies have exported during the period under review.
The high centralisation of exports of accreditation services can be analysed from Table 2, which shows the links of the
top ten (10) exporting economies.18
The top ten accreditation service exporters accumulate 91% of the cross-frontier accreditations, being simultaneously
the most connected as they concentrate 77% of the links between economies. Within this select group of economies,
there are also notable asymmetries, since the USA represents 64% of the accreditations and 29% of the links. This is
followed by a group of economies including Australia (AUS), Germany (DEU) and the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland (GBR) and, to a lesser extent, Canada (CAN), Egypt (EGY), the Netherlands (NLD), South Africa
(ZAF), France (FRA) and Botswana (BWA).
In the case of economies that import these services, the authors selected in Table 3 the top 16 economies in which
import accreditations also show some degree of centrality, although less than the previous Table 2. These economies
account for 46% of imported accreditations and 25% of links between economies. China (CHN) stands out in this
group, representing 13% of imported benets and 4% of links. It is followed by a group of economies, among which
are India (IND), Japan (JPN), Peru (PER), Republic of Korea (KOR) and the United Arab Emirates (ARE). In this case,
there are fewer asymmetries and a lower correlation between the number of imported services and the size of the
international network generated for this purpose.
Table 2: Accreditation export by country
Reference: Author’s elaboration
ECONOMY
NUMBER OF
RELATIONS
(EXPORT)
% INTERNATIONAL
RELATIONS
(EXPORT)
NUMBER OF
ACCREDITATIONS
(EXPORT)
% CROSS-
FRONTIER
ACCREDITATIONS
(EXPORT)
USA 99 29% 1848 64%
DEU 39 12% 143 5%
AUS 20 6% 207 7%
GBR 20 6% 73 3%
CAN 15 5% 36 1%
EGY 14 4% 57 2%
NLD 14 4% 27 1%
ZAF 13 4% 65 3%
FRA 13 4% 59 2%
BWA 11 3% 82 3%
Total 258 77% 2597 91%
GQII REPORT | 17
19 This heuristic method is based on an algorithm that nds partitions in the networks, based on an iterative process that is repeated until an optimal result is achieved. This
consists of the situation in which the relationships within the block are maximised and the relationships between partitions are minimised.
Figure 2 reects the positions of the economies on the world map. It also represents the results of the execution
of the “modularity” algorithm different colours (Blondel, Guillaume, Lambiotte and Lefebvre, 2008), which allows
relationship patterns to be observed that explain the way in which transnational accreditation links occur.19 In this rst
exploration, the reader can observe a large bloc of 93 economies (64% of the total) which is clearly inuenced by the
strong presence of the USA (with exports to 99 economies) and therefore crosses all continents.
There are other blocs with more dense relations: the economies of southern Africa (led by South Africa (RSA) and
Botswana (BWA) as the host country of SADCAS), a group of fundamentally African economies linked particularly
to France (FRA); another bloc forming an axis that runs from the eastern Mediterranean to Mongolia (MNG), led by
Greece (GRC) and Kazakhstan (KAZ); and two small groups located in Central America and the Caribbean led by
Jamaica (JAM) and Costa Rica (CRI).
ECONOMY
NUMBER OF
RELATIONS
(IMPORT)
% INTERNATIONAL
RELATIONS
(IMPORT)
NUMBER OF
ACCREDITATIONS
(IMPORT)
% CROSS-FRONTIER
ACCREDITATIONS
(IMPORT)
CHN 12 4% 379 13%
IND 8 2% 207 7%
USA 7 2% 61 2%
JPN 7 2% 145 5%
PER 7 2% 27 1%
HKG 6 2% 47 2%
RUS 6 2% 33 1%
EGY 5 1% 21 1%
CHL 5 1% 61 2%
ARE 5 1% 72 3%
KOR 5 1% 76 3%
MYS 5 1% 40 1%
QAT 5 1% 62 2%
CAN 2 1% 235 1%
MEX 3 1% 142 1%
UAA 4 1% 118 1%
Total 92 25% 1726 46%
Table 3: Accreditation import by country
Reference: Author’s elaboration
ANALYSIS OF THE GLOBAL STRUCTURE: BLOCS AND GROUPINGS
18 | GQII REPORT
26 BIPM, The rst 17, Sèvres/ France, https://www.bipm.org/en/about-us/member-states/original_seventeen.html. (Retrieved 13/03/2021)
Although this rst analysis is purely inductive, it indicates a relevant territorial dimension in the establishment of
relationships. This analysis already alludes to sub-regional cooperation contexts.
In order to analyse the inuence of membership of the different Regional Accreditation Cooperations (RACs)20
and geographical proximity on the existence of transnational relationships, the authors have a carried out a set of
specic tests.
A rst analysis from the Relational Contingency Table studies the way density differs within and between groups
compared to an expected random distribution21 shows the results of this analysis. Clearly recognisable are distinct
cooperation relationships in different regions of the world (the Americas (orange), Europe (light green), Arab
countries (red), Southern Africa (dark green) and Asia-Pacic (light blue)). The remaining group of non-signatory
economies is scattered around the globe in an east-west direction. This distribution is similar to the territorial
boundaries of the RACs.
Kazakhstan (KAZ); and two small groups located in Central America and the Caribbean led
by Jamaica (JAM) and Costa Rica (CRI).
Figure 2: Grouping of economies by executing the "modularity" algorithm
Although this first analysis is purely inductive, it indicates a relevant territorial dimension in
the establishment of relationships. This analysis already alludes to sub-regional cooperation
contexts.
In order to analyse the influence of membership of the different Regional Accreditation Co-
operations (RACs) and geographical proximity on the existence of transnational relation
20 -
ships, the authors have a carried out a set of specific tests.
A first analysis from the Relational Contingency Table studies the way density differs within
and between groups compared to an expected random distribution. Error! Reference
21
source not found. shows the results of this analysis. Clearly recognisable are distinct cooper-
ation relationships in different regions of the world (the Americas (orange), Europe (light
green), Arab countries (red), Southern Africa (dark green) and Asia-Pacific (light blue)). The
To facilitate the analysis, the authors have considered here five of the six existing RACs (understanding that
20
SADCAS members are also in AFRAC). To the same end, in cases where there was double membership, prefer-
ence was given to those which coincided with geographical proximity (which proved, according to the tests, to
be more highly correlated with the existence of links).
UCINET's RCT (Relational Contingency Table) test is an autocorrelation test that compares the observed
21
network with theoretical values calculated under the assumption that there is no homophily.
Homophily denotes that similarity creates connections because like and similar are alike. Homophily structures
networks in this way by creating clusters.
21
Figure 2: Grouping of economies by executing the “modularity” algorithm
GQII REPORT | 19
Non signatories
EA
IAAC
APAC
AFRAC
ARAC
22 ABs from North America (Canada, Mexico and the US) and South America (Peru) are full members and signatories of MLA of APAC and IAAC, see https://www.apac-
accreditation.org/membership/ and https://www.iaac.org.mx/index.php/en/members-en/signatarios-de-mla (Retrieved 04/04/2021).
remaining group of non-signatory economies is scattered around the globe in an east-west
direction. This distribution is similar to the territorial boundaries of the RACs.
Figure 3: Grouping of countries based on relational contingency analysis
Table 4 shows the observed accreditation trade densities between the RACs. The rows refer
to the density of exports, whereas the columns refer to the density of imports. The highlighted
diagonal values show the accreditation activity between accreditation points from one and the
same region. In almost all RACs (IAAC, APAC, AFRAC, ARAC), the export ratios within
the group are higher than those to the outside. The exception is EA, where exports of accredi-
tation to the members of APAC, ARAC and IAAC are higher than domestic cross-frontier
accreditation activity. This may be explained by the fact that most EA economies have their
own accreditation bodies, and several economies have historical relations with their former
colonies.
Non-signato-
ries
EA
IAAC
APA C
AFRAC
ARAC
22
remaining group of non-signatory economies is scattered around the globe in an east-west
direction. This distribution is similar to the territorial boundaries of the RACs.
Figure 3: Grouping of countries based on relational contingency analysis
Table 4 shows the observed accreditation trade densities between the RACs. The rows refer
to the density of exports, whereas the columns refer to the density of imports. The highlighted
diagonal values show the accreditation activity between accreditation points from one and the
same region. In almost all RACs (IAAC, APAC, AFRAC, ARAC), the export ratios within
the group are higher than those to the outside. The exception is EA, where exports of accredi-
tation to the members of APAC, ARAC and IAAC are higher than domestic cross-frontier
accreditation activity. This may be explained by the fact that most EA economies have their
own accreditation bodies, and several economies have historical relations with their former
colonies.
Non-signato-
ries
EA
IAAC
APA C
AFRAC
ARAC
22
Figure 2: Grouping of economies by executing the “modularity” algorithm
Table 4: Density of accreditation trade between groups in %
Table 4 shows the observed accreditation trade densities between the RACs.
The rows refer to the density of exports, whereas the columns refer to the density
of imports. The highlighted diagonal values show the accreditation activity
between accreditation points from one and the same region. In almost all RACs
(IAAC, APAC, AFRAC, ARAC), the export ratios within the group are higher than
those to the outside. The exception is EA, where exports of accreditation to
the members of APAC, ARAC and IAAC are higher than domestic cross-frontier
accreditation activity. This may be explained by the fact that most EA economies
have their own accreditation bodies, and several economies have historical
relations with their former colonies.
Table 4 also shows the density of accreditation imports (see data in the columns). In the case of IAAC and AFRAC,
intra-regional cross-border trade in accreditations clearly dominates. In contrast, APAC and ARAC import more
accreditations from IAAC and EA members than from their own RAC. In the case of APAC, it should be considered that
several ABs are members of APAC and IAAC at the same time.22 In the analysis, however, the authors have generally
attributed the countries from the Americas to IAAC.
It is also noticeable that EA members import more accreditations from IAAC members than from EA members. This
shows the activity of US accreditation bodies in Europe.
S/A EA IAAC APAC AFRAC ARAC
s/a 0,1% 0,1% 0,0% 0,2% 0,0% 0,0%
EA 1,8% 2,3% 3,7% 4,9% 1,5% 4,3%
IAAC 5,5% 6,9% 12,4% 8,3% 2,4% 6,1%
APAC 0,5% 0,3% 0,3% 4,8% 0,0% 0,8%
AFRAC 1,0% 0,0% 0,0% 0,3% 10,4% 0,6%
ARAC 0,3% 0,9% 0,0% 1,6% 0,0% 3,8%
20 | GQII REPORT
23 Network homophily that similar nodes may be more likely to attach to each other than dissimilar ones. The hypothesis is linked to the model of preferential attachment and
it draws from the phenomenon of homophily in the social sciences, and much of the scientic analysis of the creation of social ties based on similarity comes from network
science.
24 For better readability, the authors show the values in Table 5 in absolute terms, contrary to values in percentage as in Table 4 and Table 6.31 Pace Alves, L. (2013). Triangular
Technical Cooperation and the role of INMETRO; In: Austral: Brazilian Journal of Strategy & International Relations, v.2, n.4, Jul-Dec. 2013, p.117-139
25 The chi-squared statistic is a single number that tells how much difference exists between the observed counts and the counts one would expect if there were no
relationship at all in the population. The chi-square value in Table 5 indicates a strong relationship.
26 The authors have assumed that the countries not associated with an RAC relate to it based on their continental location.
27 However, in general the values of this type of test are low, since in a matrix of relationships the probability of the existence/absence of a relationship between them is linked
to the number of nodes (in this case 146 economies).
28 To analyse the differences between the three partitions used, the values of the E-I index can be seen, which reects the proportion of internal and external links between
groups, with an indicator ranging from 1 to -1, the latter value being that of maximum encapsulation. It can be seen that using a totally inductive method, 80.8% of the relations
are given within each group (E-I: -0.62); if the membership of the RAC is analysed, the gure for internal relations falls to 26.6% (E-I 467), and if the geographical proximity is
considered, the relations reach 40% (E-I 195, although it should be considered as that with fewer groups).
Among the non-signatory countries in any RAC (similarly distributed in America, Africa, and Asia), import relations (the
only relevant ones) are especially strong with IAAC and EA. In Table 5 the authors compare the observed values with
a random simulation model. The difference between the expected random values and those observed conrms that
exports and imports of accreditations are asymmetrical. For example, EA exports 2.31 times more than expected to
IAAC, and imports from this RAC 4.33 times more than expected. At the same time, in IAAC and AFRAC (the two RACs
with the highest homophily),23 there are about seven times the number of expected relationships (7.78 and 6.56 times
in each case). This conrms the high importance of intra-regional cross-frontier accreditation within both regions.
This allows it to be pointed out that there is a correlation of memberships of different RACs (the observed value of
chi-square25 is 782,979, with a signicance of 0.002). Although these values are signicant, it must be said, however,
that as the same level of homophily does not occur in each bloc, the overall probability that the existence of a link
can be predicted is low in terms of the general model. To conrm this hypothesis, an Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)
model was applied, which performs a regression between the presence/absence of a link between two actors and
the membership of the RAC. As a result, it is observed that the differences between blocs express only 3.8% of
the variances, although given the signicance value (0.0016) it can be stated that this phenomenon is not random,
although it does not have the same explanatory value for all cases.
After analysing the inuence of membership of the RAC, similar analyses have been carried out for geographical
proximity (in this case linked to continental membership),26 with lower and even less signicant values than those
presented.27 Analysing the data in Table 6, the reader will observe that the internal density in the Americas has
increased. In the case of Europe, the relatively higher values for accreditation service exports to non-European world
regions conrms that they are higher than those within Europe. In the case of Europe and Asia-Pacic, the reader will
observe the same pattern of higher extra-regional imports.28
r-square Adj R-Sqr Probability # of obs
-------- --------- ----------- -----------
0.038 0.036 0.0016 21170
S/A EA IAAC APAC AFRAC ARAC
s/a 0.04 0.04 0.00 0.11 0 0
EA 1.14 1.47 2.31 3.09 0.93 2.71
IAAC 3.43 4.33 7.78 5.19 1.50 3.84
APAC 0.33 0.21 0.20 2.99 0 0.50
AFRAC 0.65 0 0 0.21 6.56 0.37
ARAC 0.19 0.54 0 1 0 2.38
24
Table 5: Difference between the observed valued and expected random values
Number of ties: 337.000 Chi-square: 782.979 Next: 0,002
GQII REPORT | 21
EA+ IAAC+ APAC+ AFRAC+ ARAC
EA+Europe 1,8% 1,7% 3,1% 1,9% 3,6%
IAAC+Americas 2,9% 4,6% 3,0% 1,1% 2,7%
APAC+Asia+Oceania 0,2% 0,1% 2,4% 0,0% 0,5%
AFRAC+Africa 0,0% 0,0% 0,1% 3,2% 0,3%
ARAC 0,7% 0,0% 1,2% 0,3% 3,8%
Table 6: Densities of membership of the RAC by continental membership in %
TYPOLOGY OF ECONOMIES REGARDING THEIR CROSS-FRONTIER ACCREDITATION
General typology of cross-frontier accreditation economies
So far we have analysed the economies mainly in their regional context. In this chapter, the authors will look at different
types of economies in terms of their cross-frontier accreditation activity. To this end, the authors have identied ve types
of accreditation trade economies:
(1) Only importers: economies which do not provide and only import accreditation services
(2) Importing providers: economies which provide accreditation services but import more than they provide
by the local AB
(3) Exporting importers: economies which import more accreditation services than they export
(4) Importing exporters: economies which export more accreditation services than they import
(5) Only exporters: economies which export and do not import accreditation services
TYPE NUMBER OF
ECONOMIES
SHARE OF
ECONOMIES
WITH OWN AB
MEMBERS
OF RAC
AFFILIATION
OF SERVICE
PROVIDERS
ECONOMIES OF THIS
TYPE (EXAMPLES)
Only importer 34 3% 0 IAAC, APAC,
AFRAC AFG, LIE, UGA
Importing
providers 23 100% 65% AFRAC, ARAC
(less IAAC) QAT, ARE, SAU
Exporting
importers 72 100% 80% EA, APAC, IAAC TUR, CHL, MEX, CAN, CHN,
IND, JPN, TWN, KOR
Importing
exporters 15 100% 100% EA, IAAC
NLD, BEL, GRC, DEU, GBR,
FRA, USA, CRI, JAM, SLV, AUS,
KAZ, KEN, ZAF, EGY
Only exporters 2 100% 100% PRT, BWA
Table 7 describes the type-specic characteristics of the economies:
- Group 1 “Only Importers” comprises 34 economies of which only 3% have their own ABs. Economies in this group
are not signatories to or members of an RAC, and import accreditation services from ABs that are members of
IAAC, APAC or AFRAC.
- Group 2 “Importing providers” counts 23 economies which, like all the following groups, all have at least one AB
in the country. 65% of the importing providers are members of RAC, especially AFRAC and ARAC, and to a lesser
extent IAAC. Qatar (QAT), United Arab Emirates (ARE) and Saudi Arabia (SAU) stand out among the importing
providers.
22 | GQII REPORT
Typology of accreditation service exporters
By linking the centrality analysis and the existence
of blocs explained in Section 3.3, the reader can see
the relationship patterns of the main countries that
trade accreditation services. The authors carried out
a heterogeneity29 analysis which allows three proles
among exporters to be identied:30
(1) The rst group includes the most diversied economies,
which export to most of the blocs mentioned above
(including countries not afliated with any association).
In no case do their relations with a bloc exceed 45%.
This is the case of Germany (DEU), The Netherlands
(NLD), Turkey (TUR), Greece (GRC), United Kingdom
(GBR) (all members of EA), Canada (CAN) and the
United States (USA) (members of IAAC); Egypt (EGY)
(member of ARAC) and Kenya (KEN) (member of
AFRAC) can be added.
(2) The second prole of moderate diversication
includes ve economies that have relations with only
three blocs or concentrate 60% of their connections in
one of them. This is the case of France (FRA) in EA;
Brazil (BRA) and Mexico (MEX) in IAAC, and Australia
(AUS) and Kazakhstan (KAZ) in APAC.
(3) The rest of the cases (18 economies) are heavily
concentrated in one or two blocs. Two major African
exporters, South Africa (ZAF) and Botswana (BWA),
stand out among them, as do most American
exporters (which reinforces what was said earlier when
analysing relations between blocs).
If the authors include exports and imports in this
heterogeneity analysis, further economies can be
assigned to the three types:31
(1) The rst and most diversied group includes 15
economies that are linked to most of the
aforementioned blocs (including countries that are
not afliated to any RAC) and in no case do their
relations with a bloc exceed 45%. By integrating all
relations, this group not only includes countries from
EA (Germany (DEU), The Netherlands (NLD), Turkey
(TUR), Greece (GRC) and the United Kingdom (GBR)),
but also from APAC (China (CHN), Malaysia (MYS),
Kazakhstan (KAZ), Hong Kong (HKG) and India (IND)
and to a lesser extent IAAC (Canada (CAN), United
States (USA); ARAC (Egypt (EGY), United Arab
Emirates (ARE)) and AFRAC (Kenya (KEN)).
(2) The second moderately diversied group includes
25 economies that have relations with only three
blocs or that concentrate 60% or more of their relations
in a single bloc. The economies of APAC (Thailand
(THA), Singapore (SGP), Philippines (PHL), Korea
(KOR), Japan (JPN), EA (Belgium (BEL), Georgia
(GEO), France (FRA), Italy (ITA), AFRAC (Angola
(AGO), Ethiopia (ETH), South Africa (ZAF)) and ARAC
(Kuwait (KWT), Saudi Arabia (SAU), Qatar (QAT)) stand
out, although also those of IAAC (Brazil (BRA) and
Mexico (MEX)) and non-signatory countries such as
Azerbaijan (AZE), Uganda (UGA), Ghana (GHA),
Trinidad and Tobago (TTO), Lebanon (LBN), Nigeria
(NGA) and Congo (COG).
(3) The rest of the cases (106 economies) are heavily
concentrated in one or two blocs, including 48
non-signatory economies, 20 from Europe, 11 from
the Americas, ten from Asia-Pacic, ten from Africa and
seven from the Arab countries.
29 The Blau Index of Heterogeneity is 1 minus the sum of the squares of the proportions of each value of the categorical variable in the ego network. For example, an economy
connected to an equal number of economies in each bloc will have a measure of heterogeneity of 0.5, calculated as 1 - ((1/2) ^2 + (1/2) ^ 2)). The IQV or Index of Qualitative
Variation is a standardised version of this index and is equal to the previous column divided by 1-1 /n.
30 The reader will nd the data from this analysis in Annexure 3.
31 The reader will nd the data from this analysis in Annexure 4.
- Group 3 “Exporting Importers” comprises 72 countries, 80% of which are members of an RAC. They include
Turkey (TUR), Chile (CHL), Mexico (MEX), Canada (CAN), China (CHN), India (IND), Japan (JPN), Taiwan (TWN) and
Korea (KOR).
- Group 4 “Importing exporters” comprises 15 countries including The Netherlands (NLD), Belgium (BEL), Greece
(GRC), Germany (DEU), the United Kingdom (GBR), France (FRA), the United States (USA), Costa Rica (CRI),
Jamaica (JAM), El Salvador (SLV), Australia (AUS), Kazakhstan (KAZ), Kenya (KEN), South Africa (ZAF) and Egypt
(EGY).
- Group 5 “Only exporters” includes Portugal and Botswana (as SADCAS headquarters).
CONCLUSIONS
4
24 | GQII REPORT
This study is the rst to address the phenomenon of
cross-frontier accreditation based on empirical data.
Accreditation is the formal attestation of the
independence and technical competence of a conformity
assessment body. Accreditations are a central instrument
for building trust in international trade and a constitutive
part of the global quality infrastructure.
In principle, accreditation takes place predominantly
within a national framework. In the European Union,
for example, the principle “one accreditation body per
country” strictly applies, but in other parts of the world
we usually nd only one AB per country. Important
exceptions are the United States, India, Korea and Japan
with several domestic ABs.
Those responsible for the international and regional
accreditation communities assume that competition
between ABs would lead to inefcient duplication
and negative effects on transparency in the global
accreditation system. In this respect, cross-border
accreditation services are well-dened narrow limits.
Cross-frontier accreditation makes sense whenever
conformity assessment bodies do not nd a suitable
range of accreditation services in a country. This applies
to developing and emerging countries that either do
not yet have their own accreditation body or whose
range of services is not yet comprehensively recognised
internationally. In these cases, it is quite helpful if a foreign
AB accredits local test and calibration laboratories or
certication bodies. The foreign ABs should collaborate
closely with the responsible bodies in the target country,
including the National Accreditation Focal Points (NAFP).
Based on gures for 2020, the empirical analysis shows
that currently 2,078 accreditations for CABs were issued
by foreign ABs. Concerning the total number of 108,208
accreditations worldwide, the share of cross-frontier
accreditations accounts for 2.7% of all accreditations.
Even if the share of the total number of accreditations
is relatively low, the signicance is considerable,
especially for smaller developing countries whose quality
infrastructure is in an initial development phase. For the
NAFP country, the input of the experienced partner is an
important impetus to competently build up its own QI. A
rst result of this study is that the export of accreditation
services is concentrated in a few countries. The ABs of
the United States alone represent 64% of all exported
accreditations. Among the top ten exporters are European
countries (Germany, the UK, The Netherlands and
France), Australia, Canada, South Africa and Botswana
(host country of the SADCAS Secretariat). Overall, these
countries account for 91% of all cross-frontier exports
of accreditations. The distribution of imports is more
dispersed. Due to its size, it is surprising that China
accounts for 13% of all imported accreditations.
Hong Kong accounts for an additional 2%. Other
populous countries such as India, the USA and Russia are
also among the larger importers of accreditation services.
Other top ten importers of accreditation are Japan, Peru,
Egypt, Chile and the United Arab Emirates. All these
countries have local ABs, and industrialised and emerging
countries are dominating. Together they represent 37%
of all imported accreditation services.
Using social network analysis, the authors of this study
examined the patterns of cross-frontier accreditation. The
analysis of the relationship patterns shows a dominant
bloc of 93 economies (64% of the total) that are inuenced
by the strength of the United States. Smaller blocs appear
around the sub-regional integration systems in Central
America and the Caribbean and in Southern Africa.
Relationships between France and some Francophone
countries in Africa are also evident. Less explicable is
the group of accreditation partners, led by Greece and
Kazakhstan, stretching from the Eastern Mediterranean
to Mongolia.
The accreditation analysis within the different RACs shows
that for IAAC, APAC, AFRAC and ARAC, the cross-frontier
accreditation exports are predominantly within the region.
In contrast, EA members with cross-frontier exports are
more outside their continent than in Europe. The authors
explain that this is because almost all European countries
have very developed ABs of their own: the one-country-
one-AB principle applies, and traditionally there are close
relations with less developed countries in Africa, Latin
America and the Caribbean.
Conversely, in the case of imports of accreditation
services, it is evident that the economies in the IAAC and
AFRAC spheres of inuence import more accreditation
services from countries in their region and other regions.
In the case of IAAC, this again shows the strong presence
of accreditation bodies from the USA in Latin America
and the Caribbean. The European accreditation bodies,
which were strongly represented until the early 2000s, are
less present in the IAAC area today.
The study concludes with a typology of economies in terms of their cross-frontier
accreditation patterns: Only two economies are “Only exporters” of accreditations. The
largest group are the “Exporting importers” – 72 economies import more accreditation
services than they export. In contrast, 15 “Importing exporters” export more accreditation
services than they import. The authors describe 23 economies as “Importing providers”,
which have their own ABs but nevertheless import more accreditation services than
they export. Finally, there is the group of “Only importers”, which exclusively purchase
accreditation services from abroad.
Finally, the economies whose ABs operate cross-frontier accreditations can be
differentiated in terms of trade relations with various RACs. A group of 15 economies is
most diversied; 25 are moderately diversied and the remaining 106 concentrate their
cross-border accreditation activities on service providers from only one or two world
regions.
26 | GQII REPORT
5
THE WAY FORWARD
GQII REPORT | 27
This study substantiates the knowledge of cross-frontier
accreditation with empirical data for the rst time. The
analysis of the data shows different patterns in cross-
frontier accreditation. The results require interpretation
by the actors of the accreditation community itself. For
example, it can be asked whether the practice depicted is
in line with the objectives of the ILAC and IAF guidelines.
There is a need for further research on how the
development process of a NAB can best be accompanied
and supported by cross-border activities. Possible
conicts of interest between local ABs, foreign ABs and
local users should be considered.
The study points out the particular importance of RACs.
They can accompany the intraregional accreditation
activities, but also coordinate with the other RACs
regarding extra-regional cross-border accreditation. ILAC
and IAF could offer a suitable forum here.
The data sets that the authors have collected can be
evaluated in more detail. For example, they could be
analysed by ABs rather than by country and region alone.
Also, a distinction could be made between different
types of accreditation, e.g., accreditations for certication
or laboratories.
Finally, the authors suggest that international and
regional accreditation cooperations should systematically
and regularly collect and publish data on cross-border
accreditation. Such a practice could improve data
quality, increase transparency, and enable observation of
development over time.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Blondel, V. D., et al. (2008). “Fast unfolding of communities in large networks.” Journal of statistical mechanics: theory
and experiment 2008(10): P10008.
Borgatti, S.P., Everett, M.G. and Freeman, L.C. (2002). Ucinet for Windows: Software for Social Network Analysis.
Harvard, MA: Analytic Technologies, available at https://sites.google.com/site/analyzingsocialnetworks/home
European Accreditation, EA, EA Publication EA-2/13, available at https://european-accreditation.org/publications/
ea-2-13-m/
European Commission (2014). Guidance papers on accreditation, available at https://tinyurl.com/y6xxc6gx
Freeman, L. C. (1978). Centrality in social networks conceptual clarication. Social Networks, 1, 215-239
Harmes-Liedtke, U. and Oteiza, J.J. (2021). GQII Report 2021, GQII Data and Analysis Paper series, No. 1, available at
https://tinyurl.com/mk7m668x
IAF (2013). Assessment of Certication Activities for Cross-Frontier Accreditation, IAF MD 12: 2013, available at https://
www.iaf.nu/upFiles/IAF_MD_12_Assessment_of_Certication_Activities_for_Cross_Frontier_Accreditation__Final.pdf
ILAC (2012). Cross-Frontier Accreditation Principles for Cooperation, Guidance Document G-21, available at https://
ilac.org/?ddownload=817
Prell, C. 2012. Social Network Analysis, London, SAGE.
UKAS, UKAS Cross Frontier Policy, available at https://www.ukas.com/customer-area/ukas-cross-frontier-policy/
28 | GQII REPORT
References: ISO, PTB, and own denitions
TERM DEFINITION
Accreditation Third-party attestation related to a conformity assessment body conveying formal demonstration of
its competence to carry out specic conformity assessment tasks
Accreditation body An authoritative body that performs accreditation
Attestation Issue of a statement, based on a decision following review, that fullment of specied requirements
has been demonstrated
Calibration
Operation that establishes a relation between the quantity values with measurement uncertainties
provided by measurement standards and corresponding indications with associated measurement
uncertainties and, uses this information to establish a relation for obtaining a measurement result
from an indication. Accredited calibration certicates may only be issued by calibration and
test laboratories whose expertise to carry out calibrations according to ISO/IEC 17025 has been
recognized.
Conformity assessment demonstration that specied requirements relating to a product, process, system or body are
fullled.
Conformity assessment
body A body that performs conformity assessment
Cross-frontier accreditation An exceptional case when a conformity assessment body or a calibration laboratory applies for
accreditation from a body outside its country (economy)
Foreign accreditation body When an accreditation body accredits a conformity assessment body with activities in another
country
Local accreditation body
Accreditation body of a country where there is a location(s) where conformity assessment activities
take place that are included in an accreditation granted by an accreditation body in another
country.
Multilateral arrangement Arrangement whereby more than two parties recognise or accept one another's conformity
assessment results
National accreditation focal
point
Organisation in an economy without a national accreditation body, to inform local users about
internationally recognised conformity assessment and accreditation services abroad.
Peer evaluation
Assessment procedure regarding the conformity of the accreditation body with the requirements
of the corresponding standard recognized evaluators and technical experts (peers). Peer evaluators
and technical experts undertake peer evaluation of accreditation bodies who participate in Mutual
Recognition Arrangements (MRAs).
Third-party assessment
activity
Conformity assessment activity that is performed by a person o body that is
independent of the person or organisation that provides the object, and of user interest
in that object
Verication Conrmation of a claim, through the provision of objective evidence, that specied
requirements have been fullled
Annexure 1: Denitions
32 https://www.iso.org/obp/ui/#iso:std:iso-iec:17000:ed-1:v1:en
33 https://www.ptb.de/cms/leadmin/internet/fachabteilungen/abteilung_9/9.3_internationale_zusammenarbeit/publikationen/PTB_Info_NAFP_EN_02.pdf
GQII REPORT | 29
ABW Aruba DNK Denmark LAO Lao People's Democratic
Republic QAT Qatar
AFG Afghanistan DOM Dominican Republic LBN Lebanon REU Réunion
AGO Angola DZA Algeria LBR Liberia ROU Romania
AIA Anguilla ECU Ecuador LBY Libya RUS Russian Federation
ALA Åland Islands EGY Egypt LCA Saint Lucia RWA Rwanda
ALB Albania ERI Eritrea LIE Liechtenstein SAU Saudi Arabia
AND Andorra ESH Western Sahara LKA Sri Lanka SDN Sudan
ARE United Arab Emirates ESP Spain LSO Lesotho SEN Senegal
ARG Argentina EST Estonia LTU Lithuania SGP Singapore
ARM Armenia ETH Ethiopia LUX Luxembourg SGS South Georgia and the South
Sandwich Islands
ASM American Samoa FIN Finland LVA Latvia SHN Saint Helena, Ascension and
Tristan da Cunha
ATA Antarctica FJI Fiji MAC Macao SJM Svalbard and Jan Mayen
ATF French Southern
Territories
FLK Falkland Islands
(Malvinas) MAF Saint Martin (French part) SLB Solomon Islands
ATG Antigua and Barbuda FRA France MAR Morocco SLE Sierra Leone
AUS Australia FRO Faroe Islands MCO Monaco SLV El Salvador
AUT Austria FSM Micronesia (Federated
States of) MDA Moldova, Republic of SMR San Marino
AZE Azerbaijan GAB Gabon MDG Madagascar SOM Somalia
BDI Burundi
GBR United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern
Ireland
MDV Maldives SPM Saint Pierre and Miquelon
BEL Belgium GEO Georgia MEX Mexico SRB Serbia
BEN Benin GGY Guernsey MHL Marshall Islands SSD South Sudan
BES Bonaire, Sint Eustatius
and Saba GHA Ghana MKD North Macedonia STP Sao Tome and Principe
BFA Burkina Faso GIB Gibraltar MLI Mali SUR Suriname
BGD Bangladesh GIN Guinea MLT Malta SVK Slovakia
BGR Bulgaria GLP Guadeloupe MMR Myanmar SVN Slovenia
BHR Bahrain GMB Gambia MNE Montenegro SWE Sweden
BHS Bahamas GNB Guinea-Bissau MNG Mongolia SWZ Eswatini
BIH Bosnia and
Herzegovina GNQ Equatorial Guinea MNP Northern Mariana Islands SXM Sint Maarten (Dutch part)
BLM Saint Barthélemy GRC Greece MOZ Mozambique SYC Seychelles
BLR Belarus GRD Grenada MRT Mauritania SYR Syrian Arab Republic
BLZ Belize GRL Greenland MSR Montserrat TCA Turks and Caicos Islands
BMU Bermuda GTM Guatemala MTQ Martinique TCD Chad
The following is a complete ISO 3166-1 encoding list of the countries/economies which have been assigned ofcial
codes. The list is in alphabetical order according to the country’s English short name used by ISO 3166/MA.
30 | GQII REPORT
BOL Bolivia (Plurinational
State of) GUF French Guiana MUS Mauritius TGO Togo
BRA Brazil GUM Guam MWI Malawi THA Thailand
BRB Barbados GUY Guyana MYS Malaysia TJK Tajikistan
BRN Brunei Darussalam HKG Hong Kong MYT Mayotte TKL Tokelau
BTN Bhutan HMD Heard Island and
McDonald Islands NAM Namibia TKM Turkmenistan
BVT Bouvet Island HND Honduras NCL New Caledonia TLS Timor-Leste
BWA Botswana HRV Croatia NER Niger TON Tonga
CAF Central African
Republic HTI Haiti NFK Norfolk Island TTO Trinidad and Tobago
CAN Canada HUN Hungary NGA Nigeria TUN Tunisia
CCK Cocos (Keeling)
Islands IDN Indonesia NIC Nicaragua TUR Turkey
CHE Switzerland IMN Isle of Man NIU Niue TUV Tuvalu
CHL Chile IND India NLD Netherlands TWN Taiwan, Province of China
CHN China IOT British Indian Ocean
Territory NOR Norway TZA Tanzania, United Republic of
CIV Côte d'Ivoire IRL Ireland NPL Nepal UGA Uganda
CMR Cameroon IRN Iran (Islamic Republic of) NRU Nauru UKR Ukraine
COD Congo, Democratic
Republic of the IRQ Iraq NZL New Zealand UMI United States Minor Outlying
Islands
COG Congo ISL Iceland OMN Oman URY Uruguay
COK Cook Islands ISR Israel PAK Pakistan USA United States of America
COL Colombia ITA Italy PAN Panama UZB Uzbekistan
COM Comoros JAM Jamaica PCN Pitcairn VAT Holy See
CPV Cabo Verde JEY Jersey PER Peru VCT Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines
CRI Costa Rica JOR Jordan PHL Philippines VEN Venezuela (Bolivarian
Republic of)
CUB Cuba JPN Japan PLW Palau VGB Virgin Islands (British)
CUW Curaçao KAZ Kazakhstan PNG Papua New Guinea VIR Virgin Islands (U.S.)
CXR Christmas Island KEN Kenya POL Poland VNM Viet Nam
CYM Cayman Islands KGZ Kyrgyzstan PRI Puerto Rico VUT Vanuatu
CYP Cyprus KHM Cambodia PRK Korea (Democratic
People's Republic of) WLF Wallis and Futuna
CZE Czechia KIR Kiribati PRT Portugal WSM Samoa
DEU Germany KNA Saint Kitts and Nevis PRY Paraguay YEM Yemen
DJI Djibouti KOR Korea, Republic of PSE Palestine, State of ZAF South Africa
DMA Dominica KWT Kuwait PYF French Polynesia ZMB Zambia
ZWE Zimbabwe
Annexure 2: Country Codes
GQII REPORT | 31
DEU EA 143 0,81 0,97 0,21 0,18 0,18 0,26 0,05 0,13
CAN IAAC 36 0,79 0,95 0,27 0,27 0,13 0,20 0,07 0,07
USA IAAC 1848 0,78 0,94 0,31 0,22 0,12 0,21 0,03 0,10
NLD EA 27 0,78 0,93 0,21 0,14 0,07 0,36 0,14 0,07
EGY ARAC 57 0,72 0,87 0,14 0,21 0,00 0,29 0,00 0,36
GRC EA 51 0,72 0,86 0,25 0,38 0,00 0,13 0,00 0,25
TUR EA 23 0,72 0,86 0,40 0,20 0,00 0,20 0,00 0,20
KEN AFRAC 19 0,72 0,86 0,40 0,00 0,00 0,20 0,20 0,20
GBR EA 73 0,70 0,84 0,05 0,10 0,15 0,45 0,00 0,25
KAZ APAC 10 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,33 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,00
BRA IAAC 9 0,67 0,80 0,33 0,33 0,00 0,33 0,00 0,00
FRA EA 59 0,58 0,70 0,62 0,08 0,00 0,15 0,08 0,08
MEX IAAC 43 0,58 0,70 0,20 0,10 0,60 0,10 0,00 0,00
AUS APAC 207 0,54 0,65 0,15 0,05 0,05 0,65 0,00 0,10
HKG APAC 12 0,50 0,60 0,50 0,00 0,00 0,50 0,00 0,00
BEL EA 3 0,50 0,60 0,50 0,00 0,00 0,50 0,00 0,00
TTO 0 2 0,50 0,60 0,50 0,50 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
ZAF AFRAC 65 0,47 0,57 0,38 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,62 0,00
ESP EA 12 0,45 0,54 0,14 0,14 0,71 0,00 0,00 0,00
LRC IAAC 19 0,44 0,53 0,67 0,00 0,33 0,00 0,00 0,00
CHN APAC 16 0,44 0,53 0,33 0,00 0,00 0,67 0,00 0,00
ITA EA 11 0,44 0,53 0,00 0,33 0,67 0,00 0,00 0,00
ARG IAAC 8 0,44 0,53 0,00 0,67 0,00 0,33 0,00 0,00
PRT EA 4 0,38 0,45 0,75 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,25 0,00
BWA AFRAC 82 0,17 0,20 0,09 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,91 0,00
TWN APAC 15 0 0 0,00 0,00 1,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
JAM IAAC 13 0 0 1,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
CHL IAAC 3 0 0 0,00 0,00 1,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
UZB 0 3 0 0 0,00 0,00 0,00 1,00 0,00 0,00
SLV IAAC 2 0 0 0,00 0,00 0,00 1,00 0,00 0,00
ECU IAAC 2 0 0 0,00 1,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
VIC 01001,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
SLV IAAC 2 0 0 0,00 0,00 0,00 1,00 0,00 0,00
ECU IAAC 2 0 0 0,00 1,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
VIC 0 1 0 0 1,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
RAC
NUMBER OF EXPO
PERFORMANCES
HETEROGENEITY
IQV
S/A
EA
IAAC
APAC
AFRAC
ARAC
Annexure 3: Relationship patterns of countries regarding accreditation services exports
Note: Ordered by heterogeneity
32 | GQII REPORT
KEN AFRAC 19 18 18 0,81 0,98 0,22 0,22 0,11 0,11 0,22
DEU EA 143 34 34 0,81 0,97 0,20 0,18 0,20 0,25 0,05
NLD EA 27 6 6 0,80 0,96 0,19 0,19 0,13 0,31 0,13
CAN IAAC 36 235 235 0,80 0,96 0,25 0,25 0,19 0,19 0,06
USA IAAC 1848 61 61 0,78 0,94 0,31 0,22 0,12 0,21 0,03
TUR EA 23 58 58 0,78 0,94 0,25 0,13 0,13 0,25 0,00
EGY ARAC 57 21 21 0,78 0,93 0,12 0,24 0,12 0,24 0,00
GRC EA 51 5 5 0,77 0,92 0,22 0,33 0,11 0,11 0,00
CHN APAC 16 379 379 0,77 0,92 0,14 0,29 0,21 0,29 0,00
MYS APAC 0 40 40 0,72 0,86 0,00 0,40 0,20 0,20 0,00
KAZ APAC 10 2 2 0,72 0,86 0,20 0,40 0,20 0,20 0,00
ARE ARAC 0 72 72 0,72 0,86 0,00 0,40 0,20 0,20 0,00
GBR EA 73 20 20 0,70 0,84 0,05 0,10 0,15 0,45 0,00
HKG APAC 12 47 47 0,69 0,83 0,14 0,14 0,29 0,43 0,00
IND APAC 0 207 207 0,69 0,82 0,00 0,50 0,13 0,13 0,13
LBN 0 18 18 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,00 0,00
NGA 0 22 22 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,00 0,33 0,00 0,33
COG 0 6 6 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,00 0,33
BEL EA 3 2 2 0,67 0,80 0,33 0,33 0,00 0,33 0,00
GEO EA 0 6 6 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,33 0,00
FRA EA 59 11 11 0,67 0,80 0,53 0,13 0,07 0,13 0,07
BRA IAAC 9 17 17 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,17 0,50 0,17 0,17
THA APAC 0 26 26 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,33 0,00
QAT ARAC 0 34 62 0,56 0,67 0,00 0,60 0,20 0,20 0,00
GSP APAC 0 34 34 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,00
PHL APAC 0 9 9 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,33 0,00
AUG AFRAC 0 5 5 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,00 0,33
ETH AFRAC 0 5 5 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,00 0,33
KWT ARAC 0 32 32 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,00 0,00
ITA EA 11 26 26 0,64 0,77 0,00 0,40 0,40 0,20 0,00
KOR APAC 0 76 76 0,64 0,77 0,00 0,40 0,40 0,20 0,00
MEX IAAC 43 142 142 0,63 0,75 0,18 0,18 0,55 0,09 0,00
AZE 0 7 7 0,63 0,75 0,00 0,50 0,25 0,25 0,00
UGA 0 20 20 0,63 0,75 0,00 0,25 0,25 0,00 0,50
GHA 0 17 17 0,63 0,75 0,00 0,25 0,50 0,00 0,25
UAA ARAC 0 118 118 0,63 0,75 0,00 0,50 0,25 0,00 0,00
ZAF AFRAC 65 12 12 0,60 0,71 0,33 0,07 0,07 0,00 0,53
AUS APAC 207 15 15 0,58 0,69 0,14 0,05 0,10 0,62 0,00
JPN APAC 0 145 145 0,57 0,69 0,00 0,57 0,14 0,29 0,00
TTO 2 9 9 0,56 0,67 0,20 0,20 0,60 0,00 0,00
QAT ARAC 0 62 62 0,56 0,67 0,00 0,60 0,20 0,20 0,00
RAC
NUMBER OF EXPO
PERFORMANCES
AMOUNT
SERVICES
HETEROGENEITY
IQV
S/A
EA
IAAC
APAC
AFRAC
ARAC
Annexure 4: Relationship patterns of countries regarding accreditation services imports
Note: Ordered by heterogeneity
GQII REPORT | 33
KEN AFRAC 19 18 18 0,81 0,98 0,22 0,22 0,11 0,11 0,22
DEU EA 143 34 34 0,81 0,97 0,20 0,18 0,20 0,25 0,05
NLD EA 27 6 6 0,80 0,96 0,19 0,19 0,13 0,31 0,13
CAN IAAC 36 235 235 0,80 0,96 0,25 0,25 0,19 0,19 0,06
USA IAAC 1848 61 61 0,78 0,94 0,31 0,22 0,12 0,21 0,03
TUR EA 23 58 58 0,78 0,94 0,25 0,13 0,13 0,25 0,00
EGY ARAC 57 21 21 0,78 0,93 0,12 0,24 0,12 0,24 0,00
GRC EA 51 5 5 0,77 0,92 0,22 0,33 0,11 0,11 0,00
CHN APAC 16 379 379 0,77 0,92 0,14 0,29 0,21 0,29 0,00
MYS APAC 0 40 40 0,72 0,86 0,00 0,40 0,20 0,20 0,00
KAZ APAC 10 2 2 0,72 0,86 0,20 0,40 0,20 0,20 0,00
ARE ARAC 0 72 72 0,72 0,86 0,00 0,40 0,20 0,20 0,00
GBR EA 73 20 20 0,70 0,84 0,05 0,10 0,15 0,45 0,00
HKG APAC 12 47 47 0,69 0,83 0,14 0,14 0,29 0,43 0,00
IND APAC 0 207 207 0,69 0,82 0,00 0,50 0,13 0,13 0,13
LBN 0 18 18 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,00 0,00
NGA 0 22 22 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,00 0,33 0,00 0,33
COG 0 6 6 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,00 0,33
BEL EA 3 2 2 0,67 0,80 0,33 0,33 0,00 0,33 0,00
GEO EA 0 6 6 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,33 0,00
FRA EA 59 11 11 0,67 0,80 0,53 0,13 0,07 0,13 0,07
BRA IAAC 9 17 17 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,17 0,50 0,17 0,17
THA APAC 0 26 26 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,33 0,00
QAT ARAC 0 34 62 0,56 0,67 0,00 0,60 0,20 0,20 0,00
GSP APAC 0 34 34 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,00
PHL APAC 0 9 9 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,33 0,00
AUG AFRAC 0 5 5 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,00 0,33
ETH AFRAC 0 5 5 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,00 0,33
KWT ARAC 0 32 32 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,33 0,33 0,00 0,00
ITA EA 11 26 26 0,64 0,77 0,00 0,40 0,40 0,20 0,00
KOR APAC 0 76 76 0,64 0,77 0,00 0,40 0,40 0,20 0,00
MEX IAAC 43 142 142 0,63 0,75 0,18 0,18 0,55 0,09 0,00
AZE 0 7 7 0,63 0,75 0,00 0,50 0,25 0,25 0,00
UGA 0 20 20 0,63 0,75 0,00 0,25 0,25 0,00 0,50
GHA 0 17 17 0,63 0,75 0,00 0,25 0,50 0,00 0,25
UAA ARAC 0 118 118 0,63 0,75 0,00 0,50 0,25 0,00 0,00
ZAF AFRAC 65 12 12 0,60 0,71 0,33 0,07 0,07 0,00 0,53
AUS APAC 207 15 15 0,58 0,69 0,14 0,05 0,10 0,62 0,00
JPN APAC 0 145 145 0,57 0,69 0,00 0,57 0,14 0,29 0,00
TTO 2 9 9 0,56 0,67 0,20 0,20 0,60 0,00 0,00
QAT ARAC 0 62 62 0,56 0,67 0,00 0,60 0,20 0,20 0,00
Annexure 5: Case history: Colombia
Colombia is an excellent example of a still young National
Accreditation Body (NAB) that has made signicant
progress in its international recognition in recent years.
The National Accreditation Body of Colombia, ONAC,
is a non-prot corporation governed by private law,
established in 2007 and organised by statutory provision
under Colombian law within the framework of the Civil
Code and the rules on science and technology.
ONAC has been the National Accreditation Body of
Colombia since 2008. In that year, the public administrative
nature of accreditation was abolished, and its technical
nature was fully recognised. ONAC’s main purpose is
to accredit the technical competence of Conformity
Assessment Bodies, to act as a monitoring authority
in good laboratory practices of the Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and
to perform the functions of the National Accreditation
Body of Colombia, in accordance with the designation
contained in Chapter 26 of Decree 1074 of 2015 of Ministry
of Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Colombia.
Since 2015 ONAC’s technical competence has been
recognised internationally by being a signatory to
Multilateral Recognition Agreements:
Source: GQII data base
According to confidential information from ONAC, after signing the IAF-MLA and ILAC-
MRA respectively, one calibration laboratory and one certification body for QMS switched
from a foreign provider to accreditation by the national accreditation body.
ONAC officials emphasise that it is the CABs alone that decide which service provider to use
for accreditation. A CAB has the right to request voluntary withdrawal of accreditation and to
initiate a new accreditation procedure with another AB.
CABs can wait for their accreditation to expire and not renew it and initiate an accreditation
process with another AO. CABs may also consider seeking accreditation from two ABs.
In addition to the provisions of the MLA, the ABs also use Memorandum of Understanding
(MoU) to define their cooperation.
The MoUs regulate the exchange of information, technology and experts between the accred-
itation bodies. At the same time, they strengthen the mutual recognition of accreditation re-
sults. ONAC has signed two MoUs with foreign ABs so far, and MoUs are currently in prepa-
ration.
42
Source: GQII data base
According to confidential information from ONAC, after signing the IAF-MLA and ILAC-
MRA respectively, one calibration laboratory and one certification body for QMS switched
from a foreign provider to accreditation by the national accreditation body.
ONAC officials emphasise that it is the CABs alone that decide which service provider to use
for accreditation. A CAB has the right to request voluntary withdrawal of accreditation and to
initiate a new accreditation procedure with another AB.
CABs can wait for their accreditation to expire and not renew it and initiate an accreditation
process with another AO. CABs may also consider seeking accreditation from two ABs.
In addition to the provisions of the MLA, the ABs also use Memorandum of Understanding
(MoU) to define their cooperation.
The MoUs regulate the exchange of information, technology and experts between the accred-
itation bodies. At the same time, they strengthen the mutual recognition of accreditation re-
sults. ONAC has signed two MoUs with foreign ABs so far, and MoUs are currently in prepa-
ration.
42
Source: GQII data base
In the IAF area, ONAC signed the rst MRAs on 6.10.2015
in Product Certication – ISO/IEC 17065 and Management
Systems Certication – ISO/IEC 17021-1.
In the ILAC area, ONAC signed MRAs for Accreditations
for Testing and Calibration Laboratories on 7.4.2014.
This was followed by the signing of MRAs for Prociency
Testing Providers to IS0/IEC 17043(19/09/2019) and
Medical Testing to ISO 15189 (26/06/2020).
According to GQII, in 2020 ONAC had accredited 230
testing laboratories, 183 calibration laboratories, ve
clinical laboratories, two prociency testing providers,
as well as 37 product certication bodies, 15 QMS, 12
EMS, two FSMS, ve ISMS, one MDMS, one EnMS and 12
OHSMS, 28 personnel certication and one greenhouse
gas validation and verication certication bodies, among
others. Most of these conformity assessment bodies
are based in Colombia. Abroad, ONAC had accredited
a testing laboratory in Venezuela and two product
certication bodies in Mexico and Peru.
In contrast, 2020 foreign accreditation bodies had
accredited the following Colombian CABs: ve testing
laboratories, three calibration laboratories, one product
certication body, two prociency testing providers and
one reference material producer.
34 | GQII REPORT
According to condential information from ONAC, after
signing the IAF-MLA and ILAC-MRA respectively, one
calibration laboratory and one certication body for QMS
switched from a foreign provider to accreditation by the
national accreditation body.
ONAC ofcials emphasise that it is the CABs alone that
decide which service provider to use for accreditation.
A CAB has the right to request voluntary withdrawal
of accreditation and to initiate a new accreditation
procedure with another AB.
CABs can wait for their accreditation to expire and not
renew it and initiate an accreditation process with another
AO. CABs may also consider seeking accreditation from
two ABs.
In addition to the provisions of the MLA, the ABs also use
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to dene their
cooperation.
The MoUs regulate the exchange of information,
technology and experts between the accreditation
bodies. At the same time, they strengthen the mutual
recognition of accreditation results. ONAC has signed
two MoUs with foreign ABs so far, and MoUs are currently
in preparation.
GQII REPORT | 35
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Analytic Technologies
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